Committee report into proposed CTP changes raises more questions than answers
14 December 2018
Lawyers have today called for Canberra’s CTP reform process to go back to the drawing board after a Parliamentary Committee report looking at proposed scheme changes raised more questions than answers about the impacts of any changes on injured motorists.
Maurice Blackburn Principal Walter Hawkins said the Committee report made clear that there remained a number of concerns yet to be resolved regarding with the ACT Government’s proposed changes to the scheme.
“Today’s report raises more questions than answers and in our view makes clear that the Government needs to start the process again to ensure greater input from those with lived experience of our current scheme in any future reforms,” Mr Hawkins said.
“This was something the Government should have done from the get-go but has stubbornly refused to do in any sort of meaningful way throughout the reform process, choosing instead to keep the door open to insurers in particular.
“Unsurprisingly the Government MLAs on the Committee have today towed the line in handing down this report but it remains evident that there is significant discontent with the changes proposed – indeed today’s report outlines recommendations from the Committee that go to the heart of wide-held concerns about the harsh and unreasonably high thresholds that injured motorists would be forced to meet under the Government’s preferred option.
“In particular we welcome the Committee’s recommendation that the Government should include in any final Bill exemptions for circumstances where it may be appropriate for an injured person to make a common law claim despite not having an assessed Whole Person Impairment (WPI) of 10 per cent or more, noting that injuries can impact people in a range of different ways.
“We also welcome the recommendation that WPI assessments need to appropriately capture the full scope of injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents, and that the final Bill should clarify that physical and psychological injuries can be considered together in making an assessment of WPI.
“It is not too late to get these reforms of our CTP scheme right, but what it will take is for the ACT Government and the Chief Minister to walk away from their continuing obsession that the rights of insurers should come before the rights of injured motorists.
“Our CTP scheme is something that affects all of us and we again call on the ACT Government to go back to the drawing board and deliver a proper and transparent process that ensures those with lived experience are heard,” he said.